Internode is offering IPv6 services in native mode on its national ADSL network.
In a statement the broadband provider said it had been operating a native IPv6 backbone from mid-2008 but it was only available to those with a direct Ethernet connection or with the ability to tunnel IPv6 through an IPv4 connection.
The new offering, which is being offered as a trial, is being run across the company's national network and provides concurrent IPv6 and IPv4 PPP access for any router or computer that supports it.
"Our objective is to ensure that Internode has the most experience of any Australian broadband provider with the operation and support of native IPv6," Internode managing director, Simon Hackett, said in a statement. "By the time IPv6 becomes a necessary part of connecting new users to the Internet, Internode will offer the very best 'production' IPv6 service available in Australia. At that point, for all customers, IPv6 will 'just work'."
Internode's move comes on the back of several calls — including from Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf — for more adoption of IPv6 as they remaining IPv4 space shrinks.
James Spenceley, CEO at IP transit provider Vocus, recently also warned the world could run out of IPv4 addresses by as early as 2011.
In October, networking giant Cisco enhanced its IPv6 offerings for its carrier core and edge routers in an effort to ease the eventual migration from IPv4. The Carrier-Grade IP Version 6 Solution line includes a new hardware module for Cisco's CRS-1 router, and software for that system as well as for the ASR 9000 edge router. Cisco also unveiled professional services offerings to assist customers in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
"There has historically been a 'chicken and egg' problem with IPv6, where ADSL router vendors have not supported IPv6 because no network was ready to run IPv6, and vice versa," Hackett said. "We have broken that impasse — and we invite any further ADSL2+ router vendors with IPv6 capability to test those routers on our network and prove their own IPv6 readiness."
Internode recommends using a device such as the "Cisco 877 ADSL router running IOS 12.4 or above, or using an ADSL router placed into 'bridge' mode with a PPPoE based IPv6 connection directly from a personal computer. IPv6 support is built into current versions of Macintosh OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux".